I made the decision to homeschool my son when he was really young. It was one of the best decisions that I have ever made, but it's not always the easiest, especially now that I have a baby in the house as well.
My son is almost 8 years old and my baby is going on 11 months.
Let me back up a bit.
When my son was still a baby, I wanted to teach him every single thing that I possibly could. I read a ton of baby books and visited every educational website I could think of. I made my own flash cards, and started teaching him to sign. I would read to him and show him the flash cards every single day, along with showing him the signs. (It wasn't very difficult to do, especially since I took an ASL class in college a couple years before he was born.) I even made power point slides with words, pictures, and colors, and taught him that way as well. I was patient and continued to do it daily until he started to pick up the words and would actually sign them back. He wasn't even a year old yet. It was incredibly fascinating to me!
I couldn't believe that a baby could do that. I mean, I'd heard about it before, but had never seen a baby do it in front of me. I then decided to start signing pretty much everything around us, until he could pick that up too. He might not have been saying words with his mouth, but he was definitely showing me signs with his hands.
When we would go out to the store or out to eat, he would sign so many different things and people would actually stop to watch. Other people loved it and would ask about it all the time.
I was so proud of my baby boy.
Shortly after the age of one, he started having seizures. He developed a slowing on one side of his brain, which affected his speech development a bit. Luckily. he could still sign! It helped when his actual words were difficult.
You know what else was great? I kept up the flash cards and signs, and eventually with my persistence and determination, he learned how to read. (I think this is a great tip, if you want to try and teach your kiddo how to read at an early age as well. It might not work for everyone, but maybe for your kid too). He was a bit older than 3 years old and he started reading a book that I would read to him often. He read it to me. I got it on video. I was blown away. His words were becoming more clear, the more reading that he did.
Long story short, I was amazed with how much my child loved to learn. And I loved being the one to teach him. He still reads several books EVERY single day. No joke.
He has read so many books. Not just little kid books either. He will try and read any book he comes across. In fact, he sometimes picks books from my book shelf. (His dad and I are avid readers ourselves, and authors too.)
He even has one of my old Psychology books on his shelf. It made me laugh the day he walked up to me and started asking about the frontal lobe and parietal lobe in the brain. Too funny right?
He can read so well, that he puts some adults to shame...
I think that teaching your child to read is essential in making homeschool work smoothly. That, and math. My son is currently learning a bit of multiplication and division. He is slowly getting the hang of it... Also, his spelling skills are pretty impressive. Again, I believe he can spell the way he does because of how much he reads. I can pretty much ask him to spell any random word and he will get most of them right. If he misses a letter, he is usually quick to correct himself.
Do I think that homeschool can work for all children?
No, but for some children, like my son, it's what I think works best. Some children learn better when surrounded by their peers, and in a group setting, while some children learn better when they can be taught in a smaller group or one on one, like when being homeschooled by a parent or someone else.
Also, a lot of people have asked me if I worry about socialization for my son. You know, at first I did. He didn't really have many friends. He was mostly around adults. Sometimes he still talks more like an adult than a child.
My husband and I try to get him out a lot more these days, now that he's older. He plays with the neighborhood kids often. We also take him on "field trips" at least once a week. We take him to the Children's Museum, the zoo, an art museum, to parks, etc. We try and take little road trips and travel every few months. We also make sure to let him have fun time. He does little science experiments, sings, dances, plays video games, and gets on the computer. He is very active and gets a lot of exercise in as well. He is a really happy kid and is learning so much. He wants to try so many things and has so many big dreams about what he wants to do when he gets older.
I honestly don't think I could have it any other way.
I do have the baby in the house now, so at times it can get difficult to be teaching him as strictly as I was before, but he does a lot of his work without needing me to watch. He will bring me his workbooks and show me what he has finished, after I've put the baby down for a nap.
Every day is a busy day for this mama. I not only homeschool, but I also cook, clean, play with the baby and my son, blog, and do product reviews.
Did I mention that I'm always busy?
Busy or not, I made the decision to homeschool and I'm happy that I did. It's totally worth it for my family.
I plan on doing all of the same things with the baby when she gets a bit older too. I've started the signing, and she's starting to pick them up slowly.
Before I know it, he'll be helping me teach his little sister.